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German investments in Hauts-de-France

15 Mar 2019 | Front page, A region on the move

The first German investment in Hauts-de-France dates back to 1960. Germany now ranks second among countries investing in the region. Let’s look at some trends in the region’s economical relations with Germany.

Hauts-de-France: a prime geographical location...

Situated in the heart of Europe, the Hauts-de-France Region offers:

  • a market of 78 million consumers (within a 300 km radius), amounting to 25% of the European Union’s population and a total purchasing power of €1.5 trillion
  • direct access to 5 European capitals: London, Paris, Brussel, Luxemburg, Amsterdam

In addition to this unique location, Hauts-de-France’s consumer market benefits from optimal accessibility via developed rail, road, sea, and inland waterway networks.

… promoting trade in both directions…

Hauts-de-France and Germany have enjoyed a thriving relationship since the 1960 registration of Volkswagen France, the first German company to set up business in the region. Germany is now one of our region’s key economic partner. Today, Germany is ranked:

  • The #1 partner country of the Hauts-de-France Region for imports, comprising 17% of all imports, or 10,8 Bn€*
  • The #2 partner country of the Hauts-de-France Region for exports, comprising nearly 16% of all exports, a value of 7,7 Bn€*

*Source: French Customs Office

… and many investment projects

Germany is currently home to more than 40 subsidiaries of companies headquartered in the Hauts-de-France region, including Bonduelle, Mäder, Doublet, Le Creuset, and Poclain Hydraulics. Whereas, Germany ranks second among the top countries investing in the region** in terms of:

  • Staff size, with 21,800 employees, trailing only the United States**
  • Number of structures, with 280 sites, trailing only Belgium**

In terms of jobs, the top ten German employers in the Hauts-de-France Region are:

Arvato / Volkswagen / Bayer Healthcare / Dillinger / Thyssenkrupp / Weylchem / Schaeffler / Nordcall / WEPA / Eberspacher / Staub

**source: 2017 ORECE [Regional Observatory of Foreign-Invested Enterprises] Survey

Trends in German investments in Hauts-de-France

Job-creating German investments in the region over the past ten years (2007-2017) can be classified as follows:

  • 59% reinvestment projects on existing sites, generating 2.297 jobs
  • 29% Greenfield projects, generating 1.547 jobs
  • 12% M&A projects, generating 2.114 jobs

For a total of 5,938 generated jobs.

This underlying trend may be attributed to a shared and deeply rooted industrial culture and the maturity of French-German economic relations.

Recent German investments in Hauts-de-France include:

  • Vossloh-Cogifer reinvestment on its site located in Outreau (€40M - 200 maintained jobs)
  • Gelmer taken over by Greenland Seafoods (200 maintained jobs)
  • Regular investments (more than 50M€ over the past years) and job creations on its Bousbecque site by WEPA GmbH:

Nord France Invest can help with your plans to set up business in the Hauts-de-France Region

With 60 years of experience, Nord France Invest is your go-to partner for setting up business in Hauts-de-France, whether to create a greenfield site, extend an existing site in the region, or carry out a merger & acquisition (M&A).

Our broad capabilities allow us to give you personalized support for a site that fits your needs, from the project feasibility study to finalizing your business setup. You will have a dedicated point of contact throughout your project to help with administrative procedures, fundraising, and working with local partners.

To serve investors even better, Nord France Invest has developed new complementary services, such as identifying and hiring key employees for your new site.

Nord France Invest values:

  • Confidentiality
  • Personalized service
  • Zero cost for investors (Nord France Invest provides a public service funded by the government.

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